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  • Latissimus Dorse
  • Teres Major
  • Lower Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Biceps
  • Rotator Cuffs (Infraspinatus, Subscapularis)
  • Brachioradialis

Exercises working similar muscle groups

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Chin ups

Chin ups are an upper body strength building exercise. Different muscles are active at different stages of this movement and depending on the grip chosen the muscles used will change. Its recommended for this exercise that the palms are either positioned away from the body, known as an overgrip or the palms are positioned facing each other. The palms facing your body, or undergrip chin up places stress the shoulder joint in the extended position. For this description ill refer to either the overgrip or the palms together grip.

Functional Benefit

Chin ups are a difficult movement strengthening several large muscle groups. The Latissimus Dorsi, the large winged muscle under the arm is the prime mover for this movement. The biceps, brachioradilis (upper forearm muscle) and teres major all assist in the movement. The Chin up also develops strength in the lower trapezius and rhomboids.

Individuals with rotator cuff muscle injuries need to be careful as the subscapularis and infraspinatus are both active with the arms above the head. For a safer exercise these muscles can be strengthened using standard lateral pull downs on a machine or a theraband

Chin ups technique

Exercise Technique Tips - Chin ups

Extend arms completely at the bottom of the movement

Reduce swing motion of legs as much as possible

Pull Shoulder blades down and back at the top position, ensuring chin clears the bar

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